Over the last 25 years, hundreds of studies have produced evidence of the impacts of early education on learning and development. Many of these have found long-term impacts on outcomes that include: achievement test scores, rates of special education and repeating grades because of failure, completion of secondary school and post-secondary education. Long-term effects have been found for social development including reductions in classroom behavior problems, delinquency, and crime. These developmental results translate into very long improvements: increased employment and earnings, decreased dependence on public welfare, decreases in risky behaviors like teen pregnancy, smoking and drug use, and improved mental health.
These improvements in development and adult success have implications for public expenditures resulting in cost savings in education, social services, the criminal justice system, and health care. Of course, it is not just the government cost savings that are important, but the improvements in the quality of life.
For a recent Rutgers GSE Brown Bag Lecture, three researchers from one of the GSE's special units, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), Alexandra Figueras-Daniel, Jorie Quinn, and Shannon Riley-Ayers presented their research on a proposed intervention for 17 volunteer kindergarten teachers to improve quality. In addition to coaching, the support included professional learning communities, model lessons, and lesson and room arrangement feedback. Significant gains were obtained on several items including seven that showed stronger support of dual language learners. Other areas that showed quality gains were Display of Child Product, Teacher-Child Language, and Integration and Breadth of Subjects.
Click on 'Read the full article' to see a YouTube video of the presentation.
NIEER Research Professor Shannon Riley-Ayers presented at the San Antonio Association for the Education of Young Children (SAAEYC) on the question policymakers should ask regarding formative assessment. Dr. Riley-Ayers also discussed the Early Learning Scale, an assessment tool developed by NIEER and The Center: Resources for Teaching & Learning in conjunction with Lakeshore Learning.
At the recent STEM Smart Conference, NIEER Assistant Research Professor Kimberly Brenneman presented on the SciMath-DLL project, involves the design, development, and testing of a professional development model that integrates supports for dual language learners with high-quality math and science instruction. This session described the evidence that supports SciMath-DLL, engages participants in hands-on activities that illustrate our approach to professional development, and include an interactive discussion of challenges to, and promising solutions for, implementation of effective, research-based practice.